TORCH is happy to announce its 12th participation in Art Rotterdam. The gallery presents new works by three artists who respond to current developments and situations happening either locally or worldwide. Each artist tells their story through their own variation on the classical painting on canvas. Luis Xertu incorporates real plants to address the passing of time, TINKEBELL. replaces paint with toxic dust to show how unhealthy our surroundings are, and Anya Janssen adds stones and coloured lights that tell us more about her models.
Well-Fed Dogs Out on a Hunt (2021)
Luis Xertu (Mexico, 1985) created a new triptych specifically for Art Rotterdam. The piece is based on a combination of two concepts: the reality check that we collectively got as a result of the pandemic and the current abusive capitalist environment. It can feel as if we get torn apart in every direction for our money, our energy and anything of value that we might possess. The dogs depicted in the painting are not hungry, they are just hunting for entertainment at this point, or simply following someone's orders without much thought.
Xertu was inspired by 17th-century artist Frans Snyders' paintings of dogs. The sky was made by oxidising copper into blue crystals and the plants he applied are in the process of drying, so the composition is in a constant shift. The artist uses real plants in his works to explore themes of time and ageing.
Flora Tata Metallica (2021)
The works in the new Flora Tata Metallica series by TINKEBELL. (1979, the Netherlands) are made entirely of particulates collected around the Tata Steel factory in Wijk aan Zee (NL), which is known to be incredibly pollutive. The artist collected this toxic dust by extracting it from the sand surrounding the factory using magnets and a sieve. She was aided by locals who wiped it from their windowsills. The light shapes are negative prints of plants that grow in the polluted soil.
TINKEBELL. provokes by confronting us with the blind spots of modern society. Her works form an extreme incentive for the discussion of our morals and the way society is developing.
The recent works of Anya Janssen (1962, the Netherlands) are a celebration of the beauty that can be found in the temporary nature of existence. Janssen has made a series of intimate portraits of her students at the art academy, a group of young adults who, in her eyes, represent a hopeful future in a time full of uncertainties. This new generation has not yet been confronted much with the harshness of 'real life', is open to everything and afraid of nothing. These people may seem like dreamers with their heads in the clouds, but they do possess a 'soft force' that can change the world.